ANSWERS TO GO with Susan Smith

Q. I received a new iPad tablet for Christmas. I want to read eBooks on it. Can someone help me get started? Also, I’ve read articles about “blue light” from tablets making it hard for people to get to sleep. Is there any truth in that? If so, is there any special setting I can use to change the color of the light?

A. It often happens that an individual has more than one question, especially when it comes to tech issues.

On Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., we offer instruction on e-books, iPads and other tablets, email and Internet skills, as well as resume writing and job search skills. There is no need to sign up in advance. You can use our computers or bring your own tablets or laptops.

I found information on blue light and sleep disruption in a book by W. Chris Winter, MD. Winter is a board-certified sleep-medicine specialist.

In his book, “The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It,” he writes: “One last point I need to make clear: turn off your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any other electronic device. Completely off. That light is killing your sleep.

“In a 2014 study by Charles Czeisler, individuals who used e-readers before sleep at night took an average of ten minutes more to fall asleep and had less REM sleep than individuals who read a printed book with indirect light.

“Any light exposure in the late evening or early night can have a negative impact on your circadian rhythm and sleep, so keep your environment dim at the end of you day for great sleep.

“If you must use light, try either to filter out the blue and green from your device or consider wearing blue-blocking glasses. Screens and similar lights should be turned off several hours before going to bed.”

“If you simply must have your laptop on at night, consider installing f.lux, Dimmer, or a similar app that will reduce both the amount of light and the quality of the light you are exposed to… Apple’s Night Shift mode works in a similar way on the iPhone.”

I checked the settings on my iPhone and found “Night Shift” under “Display and Brightness.” We’d be happy to help folks find that and turn it on.

I believe it may be available for Android devices. If not, I’m sure we will be able to find a similar option for those devices.

We can also look at each eBook reader’s options. There will be a way to change the color of the “page” and the brightness of the screen.

I also want to recommend Winter’s “The Sleep Solution” to anyone who has sleep issues. He has good advice and an appealing writing style. Give us a call at 512-393-8200 and we will pull it off the shelf for you.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666